Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#97- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

#97- Shiver


I really enjoyed this book and the only reason that i'm marking it down a bit is because its tragically cliche idea of a girl falling in love with a supernatural creature. Sorry, no matter how great your writing is, its not good enough to get a 10/10 with a supernatural main character in my eyes.

Shiver is about a girl named Grace, and her romantic interest a wolf named Sam. Thinking to yourself that wolves don't typically have names or girlfriends? Well if he is a werewolf and written in a book for teens then he probably has both!

Grace has always had a fascination with the wolves since as a little girl she was almost killed by them. After a few wolves dragged her from her backyard and tried to kill her, she has always had a soft spot for the one wolf that protected her from her untimely death.

She watches this wolf from her tire swing every single day and longs for it to be winter so that he will come back again. The reason that he isnt around during summer is because... wait for it... during the summer he turns into a human! She isnt aware of this, that is until he shows up on her back porch one day after being shot, in human form, during the winter.

If this isnt dramatic enough for y'all she then has to take him to the hospital, look into his eyes, and realize that this boy is in fact her wolf. After admitting this to her and telling her the entire story they go into a whirlwind of romance all while avoiding the cold that will eventually turn him back into his furry form.

Can Sam live in his invincible summer girl world forever? Or will the icy winter pull these two apart? 

So I know that I did give this book grief for the cliche manner of girl falls for werewolf. But to its fairness I really did enjoy reading it. I like the characters, like the story line, and ultimately liked them together even though it was a bit bizarre. Plus there was enough drama to keep me continually reading the pages and wanting to finish the book. Not only that but I went and bought the second book immediately even though I had made a rule previously to only read the first book of every series, or fall into the everlasting pit of series books being read forever and ever and never finishing this project.

Anyhow, its worth the read and goes somewhere in the middle of all of the books that I've read so far throughout this.

“You're beautiful and sad," I said finally, not looking at him when I did. "Just like your eyes. You're like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again." For a long moment there was only the whirring sound of the tires on the road, and then Sam said softly, "Thank you.” 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

#95- This Lullaby By Sarah Dessen

#95- This Lullaby


After re-reading the Sarah Dessen book The Truth About Forever earlier this week I was inspired to re-read all of her other books on the list (she has four on the list, and several others that I think should be on there... not the point though) so I chose this one and read it all in one night, thats my favorite part about her books, they are typically between 200-300 pages and a really easy read.

This Lullaby is about a girl named Remy, her three best friends; Chloe, Lissa, and Jess, and the adventures that they have the summer after graduation. Remy likes to call this period, the in-between period, and the goal of this period is to have as much fun as possible, while having no boyfriend to tie her down. She sets out on the day of graduation to end things with her short-term boyfriend. She figures that since school is starting in the fall and she will be moving to CA to go to Stanford anyways that she might as well have her fun during this summer. As she goes to break up with him, she finds out that he had been cheating on her. Not a huge surprise since Remy doesnt really believe in love anyways. Her mother, world famous romance novelist Barbara Starr, was already divorced from her father by the time she was pregnant. Her father was a musician, who on the day of her birth, wrote his one hit wonder, 'This Lullaby'. He died two years later, leaving Remy with only bitter feelings and the song that became his namesake.

As with all Sarah Dessen books (which i'm totally a sucker for) the main character is likely to change her ways when a mysterious stranger shows up for the summer and wants to know the girl behind the facade. This novel, Remy meets a boy named Dexter, he is clumsy, gangly, and lead singer of a band. Someone that Remy would never go for, he doesnt follow her six week date and dump script. But Dexter is relentless, and he makes this one summer that Remy and her friends are sure to remember forever.

I wouldn't say that this is my favorite of all of the Dessen books, I dont personally connect with the character as much as others and because of this while it was a great story, I didnt feel moved or affected when it was over. Just a nice distraction and a good read. That being said, its still totally worth reading and I would suggest it to anyone who feels like a bit of romantic reading with a side of alcohol and band groupies. 

“Some things don't last forever, but some things do. Like a good song, or a good book, or a good memory you can take out and unfold in your darkest times, pressing down on the corners and peering in close, hoping you still recognize the person you see there.” 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#64 The Truth About Forever By Sarah Dessen

#64- The Truth About Forever

Rating- 9/10

I have been reading Sarah Dessen books for about as long as I can remember, and having read this one a while back I decided to re-read it while on my trip this week in order to make a better review.

The Truth About Forever follows a girl named Macy and her struggle after losing her father. Macy and her father have always bonded over their shared love of running, all of hat changes when one morning he wakes her up bright and early and she turns over and is too sleepy to go as usual. About five minutes later she changes her mind, slips on her shoes and heads out the door. She never expected that when she caught up to him he would be lying on the sidewalk getting CPR from a helpful passerby. Despite the best of efforts, her father dies that day.

The book starts nearly a year and a half after that day, we are introduced to Macy's boyfriend Jason within the first chapter. Jason is perfect in every sense of the word, he is on student council, wins all of his academic debates and decathlons, maintains a perfect GPA and works part time at the library information desk. To Macy he signifies order and perfection in her world of chaos. 

That is until summer rolls around, Jason leaves for brain camp (as Macy calls it, on the packing list includes calculators and laptops so I imagine its very smart) and sends an email a week later saying that they need to take a break and see whether their futures have the same ideas. (He's a very calculated person, sending an unemotional email and freaking out because Macy told him he loved him after a year and a half of dating. Seems like a dud to me, Macy obviously doesnt feel the same way)

The night of the email Macy works for her mother at an event and meets the people that will change her life, Wish catering company. Delia, the very pregnant owner with child in tow is having an awful night, her workers are being efficient enough and shes flustered, Macy comes to the rescue and ends up working the event with them.

After that night, she somehow gets roped into working for the catering company even more, meeting Kristy; a beautiful girl whose life was almost taken in a car crash as a child, although she has scars on her face she thinks of everything in life in the most optimistic of ways. Monica; Kristy's sister who is very soft-spoken and has the nickname of monotone. Bert; Delia's nephew who believes in armagedon and the idea of crazy things. Then there is Wes; Delia's oldest nephew, after some run-ins with the law he was sent to a reform school and when he returns his spirit is changed, choosing artistic means to get his feelings out.

Working in the chaos of the catering company helps Macy come to terms with both growing up and growing over her grief. While also making new friendships and a bit of romance along the way.

I really enjoyed this book, I started it in the airport before my flight and finished it by the time I landed back in California. Only a few hours later. It was a quick easy read and I really felt the characters emotions throughout the novel. At first I was under the impression that this was the kind of book where the boyfriend goes to camp and the girl falls in love with the mysterious stranger she meets over the summer and I was pissed, in fact I almost stopped at page 37... then she got the email from Jason about the break and I immediately felt better about it. Thanks to Dessen for not being too cliche and helping people think that cheating was okay! (thats my hugest book pet peeve, love is not an excuse to cheat. sorry)

Overall this book was a treat, one that I was able to gobble up very quickly.

“It's just that...I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It's the universe's way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It's how life is.” 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thank You Richardson Middle School!

My  middle school newspaper wrote a spotlight on my blog this issue, check out their newspaper and support the writings of young teens from Torrance! You never know, these voices one day could be the next book that gets reviewed on this blog.


#18- Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

#18- Lord Of The Flies

Rating: 8/10

I read this book back in middle school and of course as most middle school students feel about literature I read in school, it was a bit slow paced and I just couldnt get into the story. What I didnt know at the time was that this was more due to the fact that we took turns reading in circles and I would let my mind wander and didnt really get into the story as well as I should have. Let this be a lesson to really pay more attention in class.

I went back and re-read this book this month in order to write a more proper review on it and was pleasantly suprised with the story. I enjoyed it much more than I did as a 13 year old.

The story is about a group of school boys who are on an airplane escaping Britain in the middle of war. The plan in shot down over a deserted island, the only adult on the plane is killed and the children are in a state of shock over what to do next. The main characters are a boy named Ralph, a natural leader who finds a conch shell that they choose to use as a form of government, whoever holds the shell is the one who gets to speak at the moment. Piggy, a boy who others think of as a loser, teased for his geeky manner and glasses, but proven to be helpful to Ralph in getting things started. Then theres Jack, one of the older more privledged boys who thinks that his word is better than anyone elses. He wants to be the supreme leader. Ralph makes him in charge of hunting and Jack brings his friends with him to help.

At first they enjoy their time without adult supervision, they stick together at night with a fire to protect them and wander off during the day enjoying the island before them. But as time continues things start to get weird, boys are afraid of monsters in the night and start to revolt against any form of control. As time goes by and things get bad, people start to realize that there aren't any real monsters, but instead monsters are inside of all of them and its only a matter of time before things start to get scary.

“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

#2- The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

#2- The Hunger Games

Rating- 9/10

I haven't been updating lately and for that i'm sorry. I have been struggling a bit because I kind of felt a complete lack of motivation to do this without my grandma being able to read and tell me how great I have been doing. I originally started this because she offered to buy all of my books and help me through it and I guess her dying has really sent me for a loop as far as writing this, but I know that she wouldn't want me to give up writing and reading and for that reason I will push through this indifference and continue on with the project.

So without further ado, my review of The Hunger Games.

I read this book before it was considered popular. I remember that the third book had just come out and that I read all three books in a week long period. The first book was ultimately the best, but as an entire series its a hit.

The book follows a girl named Katniss who lives in a future world where after a rebellion the government remains in power by holding an annual Hunger Game every year, where two children (aged 12-18) from each of the worlds 12 districts have to fight to their deaths until one person remains the victor.

When Katinss' little sister, Prim, turns 12, Katniss tells her not to worry, that she only has one token in the jar and that its so unlikely she will be chosen. (there is also a way to get more in the pot, by taking food from the government and putting in your name an extra time per year, which Katniss always does) Then the day of the reaping, against all odds, Prim is chosen. In a frenzy Katniss steps up to take her place instead.

From there, she meets her boy tribute, Peeta, and they go to the capitol to train and begin preparing for the Hunger Games. Along the way, Peeta admits that he has loved Katniss since the day he met her, and Katniss wins over the hearts of the people of the capitol as "The Girl on Fire". As the book continues we watch Katniss and Peeta fight the ultimate battle of their lives while also battling the feelings that they have for eachother.

Most people these days have seen the movie, or atleast heard of this book now that its somewhat of a phenomenon. I think that although the movie was very well done, it still isn't as good as the book. So go along and buy the book and read it!

“I can feel Peeta press his forehead into my temple and he asks, 'So now that you've got me, what are you going to do with me?' I turn into him. 'Put you somewhere you can't get hurt.” 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

#54- Hush Hush By Becca Fitzpatrick

#54- Hush Hush

Rating- 7.5/10

This book severely scared me, like right now while typing this I'm a bit creeped out and afraid to leave my bed. Now I will admit that i'm a slight wimp when it comes to things like this, but I actually had to put down the book last night because I was so freaked out.

This book follows a girl named Nora, who lives in a farm house with her mother and goes to public school. She has a best friend named Vee and they are lab partners in biology class. Then one day the teacher changes the seating chart and Nora now sits next to the mysterious Patch. He is a transfer student and has a weird tone to him that freaks Nora out. She asks for a seat change but isnt granted one.

Later that week Nora and Vee meet two boys at the coffee shop, named Elliot and Jules. Elliot has just transferred to their school and they offer to sit with him at lunch. From then on a friendship is born and one weekend they all go to an amusement park together. When they get there, Nora goes off to get cotton candy and sees Patch there, after trying to avoid him, she agrees to go on a ride together, one called the archangel, and during that ride she has a vision of falling out and dying. From there she is freaked out and tries to find Vee to get home, in a state of disbelief after searching the parking lot she realizes that Vee has ditched her and she has no choice but to get a ride home with Patch.

A relationship between Nora and Patch starts to form, and although she finds it slightly putting off, she continues anyways. Throughout the book we start to question which character really is the bad guy, the strange but slightly intriguing Patch, or the new boys Elliot and Jules that seem clean cut but have rumors of a dangerous past. A book with frightening chases and unexpected twists and turns at every page, hush hush is not I book I recommend reading at night! Save these pages for daytime reading only. 

My reasoning for rating this book a 7.5 was due to its ridiculously cliche notions. The new creepy mysterious kid falling for the girl who doesnt want anything to do with him. The idea that sometimes the dark ones arent dark and that the straight A good guys have some curious tendencies, etc etc. It felt a bit like Bella and Edward (from Twilight, for those of you who havent read the phenomenon I promise to review soon) but on a creepier level. In general just not a relationship that I enjoyed reading about. I did however enjoy getting intensely scared over a book, its always nice to have such a great adventure story going on with only words.

“He was the worst kind of wrong. He was so wrong it felt right, and that made me feel completely out of control.”

On a complete side note: This post is dedicated to my beautiful grandmother, Phyllis Bernstein, may she rest in peace. On September 13th she passed away, she was always my biggest supporter of reading and now the journey will be in her memory.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

#82- I Am The Messenger By Markus Zusak

#82- I Am The Messenger

Rating- 8/10

Sorry for the complete lack of posts this weekend, I was on vacation in Washington DC! I read this book on the plane/during my down time and really enjoyed it.

The plotline follows a kid named Ed, he is 19 years old, living in a small town, and spends his time driving and taxi and playing card games with his friends. He lives a rather un-spectaculor life until one day he is at the bank and not only witnesses a bank robbery, but thinks on his feet and stops the criminal.

He goes to court and the man whispers to him as his walks away after giving his testimony, "Everytime you look in the mirror remember you are looking at a dead man". 

The next day, he receives a playing card in the mail. An Ace of Diamonds. On this card is three addresses, along with three times. He first considers that the card is a joke from his friends, but when he comes to realize that none of them know about it he sets off to discover the meaning of the messages on it.

At his first address he encounters an abusive husband, at the second a lonely old woman, and at the third a teenage girl who needs a little help with her confidence. As he goes to each place he learns what he must give them, the message that they need help seeing. 

After visiting all of the people on the card he thinks that his adventure is over, until he recieves another Ace in the mail. From there his journey continues, one Ace and three people at a time. He teaches each one a lesson and along the way, learns some messages himself as well.

I really enjoyed this book, I have been having issues giving ratings to all of these books because lets face it, there is a reason it was voted top 100 and at this point i'm reading the books that sound the most interesting to me. This book was interesting and kept me curious about what would happen next. My only reasoning for the 8 was that even at the end I felt myself left with questions and I'm not the type of person who enjoys making up my own decision about endings. I like clear cut final words and for that reason I took a few points off. If you are the type that enjoys thinking of your own happily ever after for the characters then I think you would consider the book an even higher rating. Well deserved of the top 100 and a captivating read perfect for my vacation.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend! Thanks again for visiting this blog and please feel free to leave comments or questions. I have also added two different ways to follow on the right-hand toolbar so if you like it, please click the follow button and keep on coming back!

“It's impeccable how brutal the truth can be at times. You can only admire it. Usually, we walk around constantly believing ourselves. "I'm okay," we say. "I'm alright." But sometimes the truth arrives on you, and you can't get it off. That's when you realize that sometimes it even an answer - it's a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced.” 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

#11- The Giver By Lois Lowry

#11- The Giver

Rating- 8.5/10

This book has been around for a long time, it was published in 1993 (only one year younger than me!) and since then has recieved high amounts of praise.

I read this book in middle school and while I knew I enjoyed it, I couldnt quite remember the plot lines so I chose to re-read it for the purpose of this blog.

While reading I was astounded to see how similar it was to many of the other books I have read recently, such as Matched (number 78). I had to keep reminding myself that they werent based off of eachother.

The giver follows the life of a boy named Jonas, who lives in a town set in the far future. Everyone there is exactly the same, they share the same birthday in december, celebrated with a ceremony where they are given a new reward each year. The children are taught from a young age that its important to be good community members, that they must follow the rules and one day they too will become important leaders in society.

Every household has one mother and father, along with two children, one of each gender. They aren't allowed to "love" one another, they may be proud of their accomplishments and feel that they are good people, but when it comes to romance they take pills in order to stop the "stirrings" that raise inside of them. Essentially their entire lives are chosen for them, but they like it, because they know no other way.

At age 12, they are given jobs based on what the commitee of elders decides that they are capable of. The 12's have been doing community service hours since a young age and are usually quite skilled in one profession and have a feeling about what job they will receive.

Jonas is the exception to this rule, he has chosen many volunteer oppertunites and has no clue what will happen to him the day of the ceremony. When the big day comes, he is quite confused when they skip his name during the announcements of jobs. At the very end, the head of the committee explains what is happening, Jonas has been chosen for a very special job. One that has been done by the same old man for many years. He will be the reciever of memories.

As Jonas heads off to his first day of work, he meets "The Giver". The man who holds all of the memories, of all time. He begins to show them to Jonas one at a time, first sledding down a snowy hill, something that has never been experienced due to "sameness" there is no need for snow or hills in their town. After many pleasant memories, Jonas realizes that soon he will have to deal with the painful ones as well. As he continues to receive more and more memories he realizes how much this town is unaware of, and he wants to change it.

Setting out on a journey that could risk both his life and the lives of many others, Jonas tries to do what no one else in his town has done before... be different.

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was short enough that I wasn't wondering when it would end, and fast paced enough that I finished it within one day and found myself wishing that there was still more to the story. It has an interesting way of viewing how different the world could be if people werent allowed to feel different and feel pain. I think its better to be able to feel pain and love and triumph and celebration, you take the good with the bad in order to live life the way that you want to live it.

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

#35- Go Ask Alice By Anonymous

#35- Go Ask Alice

Rating- 8/10

My favorite kind of book to read are those in first person, even more so those in diary format. I feel a connection to the character and really enjoy hearing a story in that way. For those reason Go Ask Alice was a very easy read for me.

The book follows a girl who has your typical family situation, a mother a father, little siblings, she goes to school in a suburban town and has her best friends she has known all her life.

Then one summer everything changes. Her friends are all busy with boyfriends and vacations and such and she feels somewhat lost until a new group invites her to hang out. She goes to their house to hang out and they play a game called "Button, Button, Who's Got The Button". At the time she doesnt know what it is, later she finds out that her soft drink was spiked with LSD.

From that point on she goes down a spiral path of drugs, leaving home, going back, traveling all over california and meeting new and exciting but dangerous people. She writes throughout her good times and bad times until she is drugged again for her last time and sent to a hospital. The acid trip was bad and she has clawed all over herself and is deemed to be mentally unstable and sent to an institution. 

The last few days of the journal she at home, feeling happy with her family, and very happy with the boy that she is dating. She even directly says that she has high hopes for her future. Then, as the book cover tells us, the epilogue lets us know that several weeks after that entry she has overdosed and died.

I found the books ending to be very confusing, but I guess it makes sense that it is confusing because addiction never makes sense. I could think of a million different reasons why she decided to do drugs again, maybe her boyfriend dumped her. Or her father stopped believing in her, or her siblings were giving her a hard time. I really dont know the answer. It makes me sad that even after going through treatment and feeling like she had a life worth living she died.

I think its an eye-opening book and one that is worth reading even just to realize the power that drugs can hold over people.

“I'm partly somebody else trying to fit in and say the right things and do the right thing and be in the right place and wear what everybody else is wearing. Sometimes I think we're all trying to be shadows of each other, trying to buy the same records and everything even if we don't like them. Kids are like robots, off an assembly line, and I don't want to be a robot!” 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

#37- Stargirl By Jerry Spinelli

#37- Stargirl

Rating- 10/10

I know i'm beginning to sound a bit redundant when I keep saying, "this was my favorite book ive read during this journey!" but it just keeps continuing to be the case.

I am surprised that I have never read this before, having seen the name of this book and cover of this book and many friends reading it, I dont know what I never picked it up.

Stargirl is a junior in highschool, up until this year she has been homeschool. When she shows up on that first day of school, Leo knows that she is something out of this world. She is wearing a peasant dress down to the floor, carrying a ukelele and has a sunflower bag with her pet rat inside of it.

She sits alone at the lunch table, and this doesnt seem to bother her in the least. She is pepped up and excited for every event, sings happy birthday to people in the cafeteria, sends get well cards to people in the neighborhood she finds out are ill, and every single class period she sets up a vase with flowers on her table.

To some people, this would be considered very strange, to Stargirl it is very typical. She was born with the name Susan, and since then has changed her name many times, she says that her name is like a shirt she wears it until she is sick of it and at that point picks out a new one.

After a few weeks, Leo, along with the entire school, is entranced by her. People start bringing flowers to school to put on their tables, being learning how to play the ukelele and copy other things that she often does.

After a while though, people begin to try and change Stargirl. Leo begins to frequent his time with her often and tries to get her to be "normal" she shows up to school in jeans and a midriff shirt, with lipgloss and smacking gum in tow. Trying to get other people to talk to her changes her essence and Stargirl has never been more upset.

As the book continues Leo learns the lesson that being "normal" and "popular" doesn't always have a happy ending.

As you can tell from my perfect rating, this book really touched me. I know that when I was in middle school/high school I felt this insane need to be well liked. I would wear the clothes from Hollister and put on my Ugg boots even when it wasnt cold outside in order to fit in with the other people. How I wish that I had been able to see things the way that Stargirl does instead. To be able to set aside the need to fit in would leave so much other time for important things. In the book she is able to make others happy with her small acts of kindness and while it isnt always well received I think its a quite inspiring way to live life.

There are things much more important that popularity (although it doesnt seem like it in high school) and I think its marvelous that this book touches on those things. To meet a wild soul like Stargirl in real life would be a treat and I hope that one day I meet someone without the inclination to fit in. In the past I wouldnt have considered looking for someone like that, but now that I've graduated from the world of high school and drama and boys and gossip it appears that its a great possibility to meet someone of the sort.

“The earth is speaking to us, but we can't hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then - maybe - the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper.” 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

#6- Catcher In The Rye By J.D. Salinger

#6- Catcher In The Rye

Rating- 5/10

This book was entirely painful for me to read. I know that its considered a "classic" but I just couldnt connect with the main character AT ALL.

The story, well its hard to even say a storyline, its basically a high school aged boy writing in an almost diary format. He tells us about his days at school, then after he gets kicked out of school he tells us about wandering through New York while trying to stall time before he can go home so his parents wont know that he is kicked out.

I felt for this kid, I really did, he seemed so disillusioned with how his life was turning out. Every single thing that he did, after he did he found it to be not cool enough, or a bad idea. His attitude towards life was just a huge turn-off for me. 

When he went on a date with girls he was disrespectful and confusing, saying that he was in love with them one second and then claiming that he hadnt never hated anything more the next.

He also largely abused alcohol and cigarettes (which at the time the book was written I know wasnt as bad, but still gross since he is in high school and underaged).

I just didnt like it. I was disappointed that I didnt like it in fact, because I usually really like books written in this format and I had hoped to find a new favorite, as some people rave about how awesome they found this book to be.

Maybe if I was a bit more pessimistic towards the world and able to see where he was coming from better it may have worked out for me, but I just found him to be incredibly cliche and phony and didnt enjoy the reading at all.

The only part of the book that I liked was the last page, in which this quote was on, it made be somewhat understand how lonely he felt and possibly nostalgic for a time when things were better. It seems to me that this kid really needed some therapy and someone who cared about him.

“Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” 

Monday, August 27, 2012

#96- Gone By Michael Grant

#96- Gone


I discovered this series earlier this summer and got hooked instantly. The story follows a town called Perdido Beach, a fictional town in Southern California, 15 years ago the town had a radiation spill when a meteor hit the power plant in the town. Everyone claims that its completely taken care of... but this story says otherwise.

The main narrator is Sam Temple, he is sitting in school one day, after a lovely morning of surfing, when suddenly the teacher just disappears.

It seems quite strange, at first he isnt sure if he is losing his mind, everyone around him starts looking around and nervously giggling, at a certain point they realize that the teacher isnt anywhere to be found, they go into the hallway and a bunch more kids are also flabbergasted that their teachers have gone missing, along with all of their older classmates. After a while of searching they realize that everyone over the age of 15 has dissapeared. Not only that, but an area of Perdido Beach is completely blocked off by an impenetrable bubble.

The children are now in a place where they need to start to run a town, without any adult supervision. At first things are very hectic, children are upset without their parents around and not knowing what to do are eating junk food and soda every meal while playing video games and trashing the town.

After a few days of this people realize that the adults wont be coming back and they need to try to get things under control for when, or if, the adults come back.

Along the way, Sam starts to realize that people arent exactly as they used to be, the bubble isnt the only strange thing occurring in this town, people are starting to develop powers that no one can explain and its only getting worse from there. Food is starting to run out and without a stable government system, everyone is looking to Sam to be a leader. Throughout the months of the "FAYZ" (Fallout Alley Youth Zone, named by the children) people rise to the occasion and begin to make this place their home the best that they can.

I was hooked the very first moment that I read this book, after finishing the first I went ahead and bought all of the rest on my nook that very night. I loved the twists and turns and the storyline kept me intrigued the entire way through. Some of it also gave me nightmares (my fault for falling asleep reading) moral of this post, read the books. I read these throughout all of my vacations, unable to finish until it was completed. I CANT WAIT for the next and final book of the series to come out so I can finally find out what happens. My above post doesnt even half way explain how the books plot works, but in order to not ruin anything for the reader, its up to you to find out the rest.

“No. I believe in free will. I think we make our own decisions and carry out our own actions. And our actions have consequences. The world is what we make it. But I think sometime we can ask God to help us and He will. Sometime I think He looks down and say, 'Wow, look what those idiots are up to now. I guess I better help them along a little'.” 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

#19 Divergent By Veronica Roth

#19- Divergent

Rating- 8.5/10

In a society where instead of all types of personalities of people living together, they live in their own factions. There are 5 different factions

1. Candor- The Honest
2. Erudite- The Intelligent
3. Dauntless- The Daring
4. Abnegation- The Selfless 
5. Amity- The Peaceful 

At the age of 16 all teens take an aptitude test, going through several different simulated situations where each decision will help throw-out one of the options. At the end of the test they go back to their parents in their growing up faction and wait for the ceremony where they have the choice to either stay with their current faction, or go to a different one that was chosen for them during the aptitude test.

Each faction has different traits, different clothes, different living situations, and different jobs throughout the city.

Beatrice Prior has grown up in the Abnegation faction with her mother, father, and brother. At the age of 16 she has rarely seen her own reflection in the mirror, has gotten used to doing things for others instead of her self and has worn modest covering clothes for her entire life. When it comes time to get her aptitude test without even getting the results she knows that she is ready for a change. She just doesnt know how big of a change she is getting herself into.

During the test she is conflicted on answering things even in the heat of the moment, when the test is over her test administrator seems nervous and tells her to go home immediately without telling her any indication of her results. During the ceremony they announce out-loud that she has tested for the Dauntless faction and in that moment she makes the decision to leave everything that she has known and transfer to a faction where she must be brave and daring. Changing her name to Tris, she takes on a new identity and works on becoming a new person.

Once she gets there, adults are treating her differently, she is passing tests better than anywhere there and seems to be able to bend the experiences in the simulator. In a secret moment with one of the officials she finds out what everyone had been starting to realize but her, that she is Divergent, meaning that she can belong to more than one faction by nature. Being adept to more than one faction is a dangerous thing and its now her responsibility to keep this a secret.

Throughout twists and turns, and little bit of romance, Tris realizes that the city has bigger plans than factions and its up to her to find out just what that is.

I found this book to be quite exciting and interesting enough that I wanted to go out and pick up the sequel immediately. At the same time, having read it a few months ago a lot of the details were fuzzy and I found myself having to go back and re-read part of it in order to remember the outcome. When I have a book that really sticks with me that isnt an issue, for those reasons I gave it a 8.5. Very good, but not a book that holds on to your attention for the weeks following.

“People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.” 

Friday, August 24, 2012

#1- The Harry Potter Series By J.K. Rowling

#1- The Harry Potter Series

Rating- 9.5/10

I've been somewhat dreading having to write this post. How is it possible to sum up Harry Potter into one blog post? It seems like something that needs an entire novel sized post.

I have never been a part of the Harry Potter band-wagon. I didnt read these books as a second grader and grow up loving them, I didnt wait at the theaters at midnight many years in a row waiting to see the movies... that is until this past year.

My friends had been getting on my case about not reading Harry Potter, my reasoning in the past was that I am not a huge fan of fantasy books, well they mentioned how much I enjoyed Hunger Games and other similar "fantasy" books and told me that I would enjoy Harry Potter and NOW was the time to read it, perfect timing so we could all go and see the final movie together at midnight. 

So I borrowed all seven books from my friends and went about the journey of reading Harry Potter. Now I promise you, I did have a job and went to school during this, but every single spare second of time I had in my day went to reading these books. I read through the entire series in three weeks. Do you know how many pages that is? I dont know either... but I assume a lot of them.

To this day, even after watching a movie marathon of all of the movies after reading all of the books in order, can't tell you which plotline belongs in which novel. It all blurred together into this awesome story that was never ending to me. Which honestly makes me really happy that I was able to read it all at once.

Basically, for those of you who havent heard of Harry Potter (lets be real, who hasnt heard of Harry Potter these days) its a story following Harry, Ron, and Hermione, through their magical adventures at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry. From the first book when Harry doesnt even know that he is a wizard, to the final book when he is the most powerful wizard of all battling "He Who Shall Not Be Named (shhh.... its Voldemort)" in the battle of his life Harry emits a realness that will stick with the reader from page one of book one to the final page of book seven.

To many people, including myself now, Harry Potter is more than just a book, its a magical adventure that we are able to get into by opening the pages of this book. It seems like a summarization of the books wouldnt even do half of the justice, so I'll just tell you this. Go out and read them, but make sure to give yourself plenty of time to do it! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

#78- Matched By Ally Condie


 #78- Matched

Rating- 8/10

Cassia lives in a society where everything is determined for you, the amount of food you eat, the type of job you work, and at age 17 you are paired with someone who is your perfect match.

Without having to make decisions, everyone lives in a world where there are rarely arguments, hardly ever illness or obesity, but also no choices.

Cassia has never found this to be a problem, living with her mother, father, and brother. She lives what considers to be a very normal and nice life. When the upcoming matching ceremony approaches she is more than excited to see who her match will be and is excited for the possibility of the rest of her life.

At the matching ceremony, she is paired with her best friend from childhood, Xander. It seems too good to be true, they already know each-other better than they know themselves, but regardless they still get the video of their match explaining their past and helping to get to know them in the future.

Cassia goes home to watch her video and is shocked when the boy on the screen isnt Xander, its Ky. After days of confusion and turmoil over the entire thing, an official comes and lets her know that it was a mistake, since Ky is an Abberation (someone on the outcast black list of their society) he cant be matched. 

She should feel relieved right? Well she doesnt. Once she realizes that someone else may be her perfect match she starts questioning not only her love life, but everything that she has come to know in society. A book that makes you question whether any society can really be "perfect" and the inner turmoil between doing whats right and doing whats in your heart. 

I personally enjoyed this book, I'm someone who would enjoy living in the society thats explained in the book. Having my entire life planned for me, considering that they know everything about you, picking your perfect match, picking your perfect job, etc. It takes all of the guess work out of life. Which may or may not sound like a good thing to you, but personally it seems that it would take a lot of the stress out of it. Who knows though, maybe, like Cassia, I would find that once my life was actually decided for me I didnt want it for myself anymore.

Overall the book was an enjoyable read, that didn't involve too much intense thinking or logical thoughts, an easy read that kept me turning the pages from beginning to end. 

“Our time together feels like a storm, like a wild wind and rain, like something too big to handle but too powerful to escape.” 

#71- Before I Fall By Lauren Oliver

#71- Before I Fall

Rating- 10/10

I have read this book before, but after skimming it I realized I didn't remember all of it so I decided to re-read it. I am infinitely glad that I did. 

Before I Fall follows the life of Samantha, a popular girl who climbed the social ladder and plans on staying there. She is in a circle with her three best friends, Lindsay, Elody, and Ally. Together they are invincible, or so they think.

On the Friday of "Cupids Day" February 12th, they all decide to go to a party. At this party they have their fun and when its time to leave, they let Lindsay drive home drunk. They drive recklessly and something runs in front of their car and they get into a car crash. If you learn no other lesson from this book let it be this, never drive home drunk. Not after one drink, not after two drinks, and certainly not after three. There is never a safe situation to drive home while drinking. 

Samantha thinks that its all over, she feels herself dying and falls into sleep.

So its quite a suprise to her when she wakes up again the next morning in her own bed. At first she freaks out, not sure how she got home the night before, not sure what happened to her friends, not sure what happened at all. That is until her little sister comes bolting into her room telling her that its Friday still. Friday? She decides that its Deja' Vu and if you convince yourself something enough you can convince yourself its true. That is until the entire day is EXACTLY THE SAME. That can't possibly be Deja Vu and she knows it. 

As the day ends and she falls asleep for the second time on February 12th and wakes up again on February 12th she starts to realize that there must be something that she needs to fix and set right about this day.

So she relives this day seven more times, and each time approaches it differently, until finally on the seventh day she realizes all of the mistakes she has made not only on that day, but also in her entire life.

I think my favorite part of this entire book was how much it showed that things can change from one single action, that one moment can change someones entire world. Even more importantly that the things you do affect others as well. There is a girl whom the entire school considers a big loser, Juliette, and throughout the week Sam see's how the things that they do that may seem harmless, and are actually much more than that. Bullying is a large issue in our society and I think its really sad how many people will throw around words like they arent as bad as throwing fists when in reality they can hurt just as much if not more. Sam realizes this and I think that the words and things that she does to try and fix them are eye-opening. I think that anyone who reads this book can learn the lessons that it tries to teach and I found myself very moved by the concepts.

I felt myself wishing that some of the days were real, and wishing that some of the things that happened on one February 12th had happened on a different version of it. I felt the emotions that these people felt and was just as confused as Sam when the entire day started over and she had to wipe her slate clean and start over again. 

“It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. Just one false step, one pause, one detour, and you end up with new friends or a bad reputation or a boyfriend or a breakup. It's never occurred to me before; I've never been able to see it. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different.” 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#53- Anna And The French Kiss- By Stephanie Perkins

#53- Anna And The French Kiss

Rating- 9/10

Every book that I read throughout this, I think to myself... "this is the best one yet!" and again, this book made me think that. I'm having a hard time not rating every single book a 10/10 so I'm trying to reserve those for books I consider life-changing... not to say this book was incredible and very very good, it just didn't change my life like the other "10" books have.

That being said, Anna And The French Kiss is a story about a girl named Anna (who would have guessed!) a girl from Atlanta Georgia, whose father writes cliche love novels (think Nicholas Sparks, but 10x as corny) and decides that Anna should go to a prestigious school... in Paris! 

Now for very American Anna this is a big shock, and although she is grateful for the opportunity, at first all she can think about is how much she misses home. Her first night at school she is crying into her pillow when the girl who lives in the dorm next to her, named Meredith, comes and knocks on the door and offers her hot chocolate. Anna happily accepts, and is glad to receive an invitation to eat breakfast with her the next day.

At breakfast, Anna meets Meredith's other friends, Rashmi, Josh, and Etienne St. Clair, she also has a wakeup call when the entire menu is in French, a language that she doesn't speak a single word of. To her relief St. Clair (a very adorable, English, Parisian, and very sexy boy) helps Anna order breakfast.

As expected the signs point to a romance blossoming for St. Clair and Anna, until she finds out that he has a girlfriend. So she decides that she will simply be friends with him... can I just say, YEAH RIGHT?! Everyone knows that simply being friends doesn't always work out like that, and Anna finds this out the hard way.

Throughout ups and downs of a friendship that is begging to be more Anna enjoys her year at boarding school, while finding out who she can be when she is given the chance to do things on her own.

I think that the biggest perk for me about this book was how realistic it felt. When Anna was expressing her emotions I honestly wondered whether this author had read my brain, taken my thoughts, and then written them into this book. I felt her love, her anger, her complete confusion over this boy who supposedly loved her but also loved someone else. I just wanted to rip this girl from the pages of the book and ask her some advice.

She said one thing that really made me connect to her as a character, she thinks that being with a guy is a special thing. She says that if the worst were to happen and she would to get knocked up by someone, would she be embarrassed to tell the child that he was their father? If the answer is anywhere close to a yes, then she wont have sex with him. This is something that I respect so much coming from a character in a book because it goes against the stereotypical generation that we live in thats so quick to give away every piece of themselves. 

Also as a side note, the complete descriptions of Paris made me want to visit it even more so than I would have before. The descriptions of the crepes, can I say yum? Also somewhat ironic/coincidental Anna writes her own blog on movies that she watches, somewhat like this project of mine writing a blog on books I read. Even more so why I felt she was so relatable to me.

“Why is it that the right people never wind up together? Why are people so afraid to leave a relationship, even if they know it's a bad one?” 

#9- Looking For Alaska By John Green

#9- Looking For Alaska

Rating- 10/10

Let me just say this right now, I am a huge John Green fan, I may have jumped on the band wagon a bit late on this one, but when I read this book about a year ago I knew that I had to read more of his literature. None of his books have disapointed. That being said, do yourself a favor and read all of his books (deservingly, they are all on this list! So I will be rating all of them)

In order, this is my second favorite John Green book (beat out by TFIOS)

The story follows a boy named Miles and his rather mundane life, until his parents decide to send him to boarding school. Miles is very into last words, knowing most of the last words of anyone you can think of. He regards going to boarding school as "Seeking His Great Perhaps" which are Francois Rabelia's last words. Once there, he meets his roommate, Chip (whom everyone calls "The Colonel") a girl named Alaska (whom Mile's immediately begins crushing on), and Alaska's friend named Takumi (who quite often feels left out from the group dynamic). They have all been going to school together for a while and have created a friend group that they welcome Miles into. Their main mission; complete as many pranks as possible without getting caught. 

The group, fueled by Alaska's rebellious attitude, break rules by drinking strawberry wine, smoking cigarettes on the swing sets, and doing anything and everything to prove themselves better than the "Weekday Warriors" (The rich kids who only attend the school during the week, to then return to their extravagant homes for the weekends)

When things get out of control, and Alaska makes a decision that no-one can undo. They are all faced to deal with the consequences and try to decipher where it all went wrong.

A coming-of age kind of book that explores romance, trying to fit in while also standing out, and the importance of good friends that get you through the rough times. Looking For Alaska is a gem of a book.

“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

(on a side note, that quote has become so popular that it now has its own tumblr page, can be found here; http://peopleraindrizzlehurricane.tumblr.com/) 

Monday, August 20, 2012

#58- Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs

#58- Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Rating- 9/10

Miss Peregrine's is a story about a boy named Jacob, who has grown up listening to his grandfathers "fairytales" about his childhood living at an orphanage on an island after escaping the Nazi's during the war. He shows him antique pictures of people who could be from the circus, a floating girl, a boy holding a large boulder above his head, a boy with bees engulfing the entire top half of his body, and many other peculiar children. 

Jacob believed these stories until he got into grade school, at which point he was taunted for believing the mystics that his grandfather told him. 

From that day on his grandfather never spoke of the stories again, until one day when many years later, after battling many years of dementia, his grandfather finally cracks and hits insanity and continues to think that these demons from his past are haunting him.

In order to understand his grandfather better, Jacob travels to this island to see what mystics await him. After several days he realizes that things arent always what they seem and that this island has a bit of magic left in it still.

My favorite part of this book was the pictures that were included in it. In the back of the book they tell us that they found all of the pictures from flea markets and they are all real. Each time that Jacob or his grandfather describes a photo, there is an image of it on the next page, which I found to make the entire story come to life even more so. The great story was brought even higher with the insertion of these pictures.

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#72- Unwind By Neal Shusterman

#72- Unwind

Rating- 9/10

Unwind is set in the future, to a time where after the world had a big war, the Pro Life team versus the Pro Choice team, when both teams get together and try to make a compromise an interesting conclusion is made. It is decided that instead of having abortions before children are born, people are forced to have these children and if they decide by the age of 13 that they dont want them to be living anymore, they have until they turn 18 to make the decision to unwind them.

Unwinding is a process of taking every single organ and piece of matter in someone and giving it to others for a transplant. Shortly before the war someone came up with a new technique so that every single cell was used with no waste. They decide that since people are technically being killed, they are being spread throughout the world with different people in the shape of an arm or a leg or brain stems, that it isnt murder and its an acceptable new form of dealing with unwanted pregnancy.

Now of course there are exceptions, people who dont want their children at birth can have the choice to "stork" them which means dropping off the baby at a doorstep and if no one sees you do it, the baby is now the person who lives at that house. There is also the state system, that houses children that no one claims or wants.

The story follows several different characters, mainly Lev, Connor, and Risa. All three are being set to unwind, with different circumstances getting them to that point. Connor is a trouble maker and his parents sign the order. Risa grew up in the state system and when they no longer have room for her she is set to unwind. Lev is something called a "tithe" its a religious sacrifice that his parents have decided to make. They all have different stories, but one major thing in common... they will do whatever it takes to make sure that they wont be unwinded.

The story is both chilling (I was literally afraid to go to sleep one night) and eye-opening to a world that has let their children down and the lives that are harmed in the process.

“...One thing you learn when you've lived as long as I have-people aren't all good, and people aren't all bad. We move in and out of darkness and light all of our lives. Right now, I'm pleased to be in the light.” 

Friday, August 17, 2012

#43- My Sister's Keeper By Jodi Picoult

#43- My Sister's Keeper

Rating- 10/10

I read this book for the first time going into my freshman year of high school, it was one of the required summer reading books and so naturally I felt unsure about the interest level of the book. In general up to this point school assigned books hadn't impressed me. This book is where that all changed.

I remember vividly sitting outside in my backyard on one of my lounge chairs, crying silently as I finished the last chapter of this book. For the entire day the book lingered with me and I felt completely moved by the entire thing for weeks after while thinking about the paper I needed to write for class. I guess you could say that this was the book that really changed my love of reading, I was now more inclined to read things with more difficult story lines and characters.

My Sister's Keeper is a book following the different point of view of an entire family, who are all dealing with moral and ethical dilemmas when it comes to the life of those that they love.

Anna, who was born as a perfect donor for her sister and since the day of birth has spent her entire life being "her sister's keeper". She never found this to be a problem, until one day when her parents tell her that she must donate a kidney to Kate. While its a completely selfless and rewarding act, Anna doesn't want to do it. She wants to be able to play hockey and continue about being a normal 13 year old girl. Her parents may have forgotten this, but she hasn't been sick an entire day of her life yet she's spent most of it in the hospital for countless pin pricks and bone marrow retrievals and surgeries and shots.

Kate, who at a young age was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and from that day forward spent her entire growing up process in and out of hospitals. As the middle child of the family, she has never felt the middle child syndrome due to the fact that her mothers entire life revolves around keeping her happy and healthy. She feels some guilt that her younger sister is never able to live the life that she deserves due to the fact that Kate has cancer.

Sara, the mother of the girls, who spends her life dealing with the internal dilemma of keeping both of her daughters alive and happy. 

Brian, the father of the girls, works as a firefighter. He is somewhat conflicted throughout the novel feeling that he is being unfair to his youngest daughter by expecting her to always be around and healthy for Kate, but also not wanting to tell Anna that she doesn't have to do this because he wants Kate to live.

Then there's Jesse, he is the eldest brother of the three children and due to the fact that he has nothing to do with the illness has always kind of fell into the shadows of the other children. Throughout the book we are shown his internal distress over always been overlooked.

The book's main plot point is that Anna doesn't want to give Kate this kidney, she feels that since she is 13 and wants to live the rest of her life as she pleases the best way to do this would be to go to court to fight for medical emancipation. The book follows the court case and the emotional and physical turmoil that everyone in the family goes through during it. With emotions and words that will stick with you for a long time after reading the book, My Sister's Keeper is completely deserving of being on the top 100 list.

“I'm lonely. Why do you think I had to learn to act so independent? I also get mad too quickly, and I hog the covers, and my second toe is longer than my big one. My hair has it's own zip code. Plus, I get certifiably crazy when I've got PMS. You don't love someone because they're perfect. You love them in spite of the fact that they're not.” - My Sister's Keeper 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

#16- The Perks Of Being A Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky

#16- The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Rating- 10/10

This book has gotten a lot of attention lately due to the movie that is coming out this fall, keeping my fingers crossed that its good although I've never found movie adaptations to be even close to the magic found in books.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a coming of age kind of book, written in the first person point of view from a boy named Charlie. After the suicide of a good friend of his Charlie decides that he needs to start living his own life to its fullest potential. Although tragically shy and rather awkward he befriend a group of older kids and slowly gets introduced into their circle. They invite him to parties, football games, and wild adventures while also respecting the fact that he is a little put off and shy about the entire thing.

Throughout the book Charlie is writing letters to an anonymous source, all about his life and the struggles and triumphs that he experiences. He comes out of his shell and realizes that giving other people love and attention isnt enough, that he needs to find these things for himself as well.

I think that my favorite thing about this book is the real life feel that it has to it, being a somewhat awkward girl in high school (lets be real, who doesnt think of themselves as somewhat awkward looking back on those years) I appreciated the realness behind the characters and the way that they experienced things that I had also gone through.

I liked the variety of characters, whether it be Charlie's sister who is somewhat embarrassed by him and doesnt want to ruin her popularity. Or Patrick and Sam (step-brother and sister) who welcome Charlie the way that he is and helps him become more of himself. Bill, Charlie's teacher who pushes him to read new books and think more of them in a new and inspiring way. 

They all had a way of coming alive within the pages and making the story more dynamic all the same. Overall the entire book is an excellent teenage piece and it makes complete sense that they have finally sold the movie rights, I only hope that is doesnt take away from people reading the book, and instead inspires people to get the magic from the book as well.

“So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” - The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

(I would just like to point out that choosing only one quote to put at the end of this was a difficult decision, because I think that the entire book has a way of taking words and turning them into statements that sum up the entire feelings that I often experience) 

#23- Flowers For Algernon By Daniel Keyes

#23- Flowers For Algernon

Rating- 7.5/10

I may have been one of the only Americans who wasn't assigned this book in school growing up, so although I had heard of the story and knew many people who read it, I had never opened the spine of the book until this week.

The story follows a man named Charlie, a mentally retarded man with an IQ of 68. It's written from the point of view of Charlie, in "Progress Report" formats.

The first few reports introduce Charlie as a character and explain that he is a 32 year old man who works at a bakery, has wonderful friends there, has a room of his own, and studies reading and writing at classes offered from Beekman college for adults like him.

The first thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that because it was written from his point of view, the progress reports were written like those of a man with a low IQ, they had grammar and spelling mistakes and were written poorly, I felt like it made me understand the character better to see how he would really have been living life.

A few progress reports in we are explained that Charlie was suggested to be a part of a program, he goes to a science lab and meets a mouse named Algernon, who is smarter than your average mouse, he is able to solve complex problems in order to receive food. Charlie is then explain that Algernon was given a surgery in order to enhance his IQ and they are hoping to do the very same thing to Charlie with his mothers approval.

After the approval of family Charlie undergoes the surgery and everything goes exactly as planned, within weeks he is smarter. The progress reports get more advanced with new words and grammar structures, but then Algernon starts to regress. Will this happen to Charlie as well?

Overall I thought that the book was very well written with relatable characters and a story that was enticing. I rated it a 7.5 due to several parts that I found slow in the middle of the book, but still completely worth reading for the message that was learned behind it. Sometimes, its not intelligence that makes you a smart man... 

“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.” - Flowers For Algernon